How Load Speed Impacts User Experience and Retention

Lots of businesses are still unaware of the importance of proper site optimization. A topic that is actually extremely important and either very helpful or very harmful to your site depending on your approach. To reveal part of why let’s look at how load speed impacts user experience and retention.

User frustration or satisfaction

The first way load speed impacts user experience and retention is by directly causing users to like or dislike your site a bit more. While it should be obvious, a faster loading speed will increase user satisfaction. On the other hand, slower loading times will do a lot to discourage users from using your site at all. That shows how customer experience impacts web design since keeping users happy is always in your best interest. Now, frustration or slight approval is hardly enough to sway a user’s opinion on whether they should buy your goods or hire you. But it sets the tone for the rest of their interactions with you. Note that this only applies to slight delays or faster loading speeds.


Increased bounce rate

If we want to discuss how load speed impacts user experience and retention regarding long loading delays, we have one word for you to start with: badly. Long loading times are one of the main reasons for increased bounce rates on business sites. People simply hate having to wait just to hand their money to you. They feel that their rights and privileges as a customer should protect them from such inconveniences. As such, you are immediately on the back foot, and even if they don’t decide to leave immediately, you will have a more challenging time convincing them that they should patronize your business. Of course, thanks to the various customer retention strategies, there are some strategies you can implement that mitigate this issue. But it’s still better for them to be unnecessary, to begin with!

Site inaccessibility

Another way loading speed can impact retention and user experience is by making your site inaccessible. You see, plenty of people have a terrible internet connection that doesn’t support high-speed internet. At the same time, even if they have a flawless internet connection at home, many people have a much slower phone connection. Whatever the case, there is only one potential ending to a scenario where a person with slow internet tries to connect to a site with a slow loading speed: getting an error message. There are few things as frustrating as not being able to open a site because of how slow it is in combination with your lousy net. And this can cause potential customers to just give up on your site in disgust and never return!

Compatibility problems

There is another fun side effect of having slow loading speeds on your site. And that’s various compatibility issues that can pop up if the user is trying to view the page on anything that’s not a PC. That happens because the slow loading speed makes things load wrong or only partially. Some things might not load in at all, and their absence will cause text and other page content to shift around awkwardly. Even on a PC, this looks kind of awkward. On a mobile phone? It looks unusable and can quickly cause a user to leave your site. If you want to build up a proper site, you must at least ensure that slow loading won’t cause such problems.

Tanked SEO ratings

Unfortunately, when it comes to how load speed impacts user experience and retention, the customers themselves are not the only thing you need to worry about. Google and its crawlers quickly notice a site suffering from low loading speeds that negatively impact user experience. That, in turn, makes them lower your site’s SEO ranking. A lower SEO ranking means that you have less organic traffic on your site or, in other words, fewer visitors. On the other hand, the inverse is also true. Quick loading times and a pleasant user experience mean that your site will get an SEO ranking boost. That will help your efforts to grow your site and your customer base immensely!

Marketing difficulties

When you are designing your site and making plans, using it for the sake of marketing is a crucial thing to consider. After all, every bit of online marketing eventually leads back to your site, whether it be to a specific landing page or some content published. Consider what we’ve already discussed and how it would impact your marketing efforts. If a person excitedly clicks on an ad, hoping to quickly view an interesting product and get more details on it, how will they feel when it takes forever for the page to load? Not very enthusiastic anymore, that’s for sure. So, efforts to optimize your website and improve the user experience will immensely help your marketing.

The way load speed impact your reputation

Of course, the final way how load speed impacts user experience and retention are reflected through your reputation. Here, the equation is relatively simple: faster-loading speed, better experience, better reputation, slower loading speed, abysmal experience, bad reputation? No one wants to recommend a slow and clunky site to their friends and family. And if you get stuck with a reputation as being a subpar business that can’t even sort out its site, it can be hard to wash this stain away. That means your efforts to retain customers and grow your customer base will be negatively affected, which goes directly against your site's purpose.


Final comment

Now that you know how load speed impacts user experience and retention, it should be obvious why you need to optimize your site. Doing so means you’ll have a much easier time hitting your goals and making your site a success. On the other hand, no amount of good content or nicely crafted pages will help if people get highly frustrated just trying to open them.